Minute Particulars

David Allen

  • New Images of the Natural in France: A study in European Cultural History 1750-1800 by D.G. Charlton
    Cambridge, 254 pp, £25.00, December 1984, ISBN 0 521 24940 6
  • Voyage into Substance: Art, Science, Nature and the Illustrated Travel Account 1760-1840 by Barbara Maria Stafford
    MIT, 645 pp, £39.95, July 1984, ISBN 0 262 19223 3

One of scholarship’s more obvious last frontiers, a stretch of terrain that remains substantially uncolonised, is the borderland between those two uncomfortable neighbours, the history of art and the history of science. The reason for this neglect, of course, is that there are next to no scholars around who can penetrate the area with any confidence. The languages spoken in the territories that abut on it are so sharply different that little traffic has been able to develop. It has therefore been left a largely trackless wilderness, a wilderness in which the timid all too easily imagine a savage specialist lying in wait behind every boulder or bush.

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